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BASEBALL NOTES

Wagner Released From Hospital

July 17, 1998| Associated Press

Houston Astro closer Billy Wagner was released Thursday from St. Joseph's Medical Center in Phoenix after undergoing a series of neurological tests.

Wagner was felled by a line drive to the head hit by Kelly Stinnett in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The ball careened nearly to the Diamondbacks' dugout. Wagner collapsed on his back, his legs flopping wildly.

"It's a pitcher's worst nightmare," said his close friend, Houston pitcher Mike Magnante. "You just hope it never happens."

Many in the crowd of 42,229 stood. Spectators covered their mouths in shock. Players from both teams crowded around the fallen pitcher.

Wagner suffered a cut near his left ear, but suffered no brain injury or skull fracture, according to a news release from the hospital.

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The Chicago White Sox requested waivers on pitcher Jason Bere for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

Bere, a right-hander, was designated for assignment July 9 when reliever Matt Karchner was activated from the disabled list. Bere, 3-7 in 18 games (15 starts), had protested a move to the bullpen and had requested a trade.

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Mark Wohlers returned to the Atlanta Braves, hopeful that a poor stint in the minors won't deter him from recapturing his role as the team's closer. Wohlers, who has 105 saves for the Braves since 1995, had a 21.13 earned-run average in eight appearances for triple-A Richmond.

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